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11 December

History Lovers Gift Guide 2013


I hope you find some gems here. I really had fun looking into this. Click on the links below to learn more about each gift.  There is still plenty of time to give a great gift before Christmas!  Whoever you favorite history buff, nerd or geek is.  If you are worried you don’t have time to purchase online try Amazon Prime.  I was skeptical at first but now that we have it, I love it!

History Magazine

A magazine subscription gives all year long. This is one of the best and least expensive.

19 September

It’s a Girl!

Baby Girl Shoes

Baby Girl Shoes

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. My wife and I recently had our second child. On September 7, 2013 at 3:45 PM pacific, my daughter Emily was born. We have been very busy trying to take the best care of her we can.  I will get back to posting soon.

23 August

How to Subscribe to History Podcast


I created a youtube video describing step-by-step how to subscribe to History Podcast using iTunes.  Now, I understand that not everyone uses iTunes and I intend to address other ways of subscribing/listening to the podcast in future posts, but since most people 90% listen via iTunes we are going to cover this way first.  Please let me know how you listen to the podcast in the comments below.

30 June

July Newsletter


While we have done post on July 4th in the past.  I thought it important to provide those reading the newsletter more information about the short stories it contained.  I like learning and the reason I did the podcast in the first place was to make learning easier for those of you reading and listening to the content I create.  So here we go in the order the articles appear in the emailed newsletter for July.  If you didn’t get the email please be sure to sign up on the right side of this page (and every page of the website).

If you missed the newsletter you can download the History Podcast July Newsletter.

On July 1, 1884 the MPAA introduced the PG-13 rating.

Until 1984, explicit violence and gore in the films Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Poltergeist, Clash of the Titans and Gremlins caused an uproar among parents over their PG rating.

So, Steven Spielberg, director of Temple of Doom and producer of Gremlins, to suggest a new rating to MPAA president Jack Valenti for films that have too much adult content to be rated PG, but not quite enough to be rated R. Spielberg’s suggestion was for an intermediate rating of PG-13 or PG-14.  More information at Wikipedia:  Adoption of PG-13.

Red Dawn was the first movie to have a PG-13 rating.  According to

On August 10, 1983, the action film Red Dawn, starring Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen, became the first-ever PG-13 movie to be released in theaters.

Did you know that on July 4, 1826 both former presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died within 5 hours of each other? It was in 1776 by David McCullough. An awesome book. The prefect history read for July!

There is more to July 4th, than fireworks and hot dogs.  It also seems very surprising that both these great men that had so much to do with the United States as an independent country both died on that day of national celebration.  From

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams were the last surviving members of the original American revolutionaries who had stood up to the British empire and forged a new political system in the former colonies. However, while they both believed in democracy and life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, their opinions on how to achieve these ideals diverged over time.

The next day, July 5th, sees the introduction of the Bikini in 1946.  It was first shown in France at Piscine Molitor, a popular swimming pool in Paris.

Parisian showgirl Micheline Bernardini modeled the new fashion, which Reard dubbed “bikini,” inspired by a news-making U.S. atomic test that took place off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean earlier that week.

Forrest Gump opens in U.S. theaters on July 6, 1994. It took home six Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor. The movie was based on a 1986 novel of the same name by Winston Groom, who (like his main character) grew up in Alabama and served in the Army during Vietnam.

These are some of my favorite quotes from that famous movie.  Post yours in the comments.

I gotta find Bubba!

When I was in China on the All-American Ping Pong team, I just loved playing ping-pong with my Flexolite ping pong paddle.

Mama says they was magic shoes. They could take me anywhere.

Forrest: Lieutenant Dan, what are you doing here?
Lieutenant Dan: I’m here to try out my sea legs.
Forrest: But you ain’t got no legs, Lieutenant Dan.
Lieutenant Dan: [mildly irritated, but understanding] Yes… yes, I know that. You wrote me a letter, you idiot!

I’m sorry I had to fight in the middle of your Black Panther party.

Lieutenant Dan: Where are you boys from in the world?
ForrestBubba: Alabama, sir!
Lieutenant Dan: You twins?
Forrest: No, we are not relations Sir.

On July 9 in 1941, crackerjack British cryptologists break the secret code used by the German army to direct ground-to-air operations on the Eastern front.  You can listen all about this in the history podcast episode #77.

July 11, 1884 is the day Aaron Burr shoots Alexander Hamilton.  The leading Federalist and the chief architect of America’s political economy, died the following day. Learn more. There has recently been a new book released on the subject. If you’re a reader you may enjoy: Duel with the Devil: The True Story of How Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr Teamed Up to Take on America’s First Sensational Murder Mystery

On July 17,1955 Disneyland opens.  Walt himself introduces Disneyland in this youtube video.  The $17 million theme park was built on 160 acres of former orange groves in Anaheim, California, and soon brought in staggering profits. Today, Disneyland hosts more than 14 million visitors a year, who spend close to $3 billion.  Learn more.

First World Cup played on July 13, 1930.  France defeats Mexico 4-1 and the United States defeats Belgium 3-0 in the first-ever World Cup football matches, played simultaneously in host city Montevideo, Uruguay.  Learn more.

One of the few days in human history that will forever be remembered!  July 20, 1969Neil Armstrong, 240,000 miles from Earth, speaks these words to more than a billion people listening at home:

That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

Machu Picchu was discovered on July 24, 1911.  Hiram Bingham, an American archeologist, gets his first look at Machu Picchu, an ancient Inca settlement in Peru that is now one of the world’s top tourist destinations.  Learn more.

On July 26, 1775 Second Continental Congress established the U.S. Postal system with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. Learn more.


14 June

Happy 8th Birthday History Podcast


We’re not history yet…

Hi everybody.  Well its seems its been 8 years since I first uploaded The Only Atomic Bomb Ever Dropped on America on June 5th (or 18th depends on if you use the blog post date or the mp3 upload date) 2005.  Thats a long time and while many things have changed for this podcast over those years, my desire to keep podcasting, writing and learning about history has not.  I may not have as much time for it as I once did, but I still enjoy it very much.  While you may not have noticed I have been making some changes across the website recently.  No podcasts yet, but I’m starting to spend some more time on this “little” hobby.  It seems people are still interested in this little podcast after 8 years.  I would like to share some statistics with all of you.

Even though I haven’t posted a podcast since July of 2012.  I’m still getting downloads.  For example, this month alone I’ve had 6,755 downloads.  If you look at the below chart, since January 2012 we have been a little up and down, but since March its all growth!


May was our best month so far!  I have no idea what happened around the 10th of May.  There was no unusual traffic on the website, only the downloads peaked.  So, maybe we were a featured podcast or something?  May 10th was a 57% increase over the daily average for May.  Whatever it was it was big, but it was over by the 12th.


In 2011 my host, libsyn, did some major tinkering and I don’t have visibility to what the monthly downloads were only a total number.  If you add the pre-2011 total to our post 2011 total we have had….get ready for it:


Thats right millions!  I can’t believe it.  Wow!  Thank you to everyone who has downloaded and listened to one of our podcasts.  How cool is that?!  So, now it is time to do even more.  On of the many things I have done recently is add a subscription option to the site.  In the upper left of the page you should notice an option to give us your email address.  We won’t sell it to anyone else, its just for us.  I haven’t decided if we will do a quarterly or monthly email newsletter, but I do want to start doing a email newsletter of some kind.  I hope you will opt-in.  One thing is for sure, you don’t have to worry about getting too much email from me.  Besides not having time to send email, its expensive!

So, stay tuned.  I may not podcast often, but we are still here and we are not going anywhere.  Thanks for reading and have a great June!

26 October

Old Blogger Post Imported


Hi all, well it only took me 6 years, but I have finally imported all of the blogger content from my old site (on blogger) to this new fancy-dancy website here.  You can see them in all their glory in the ‘imported from blogger‘ category. Also, in other behind the scenes news I also acquired the domain. Yeah me! Now if only I could get the .com!  That is all.

02 July

History Book Club


This will be a quick post to tell you about the great book group I found on  It is for people who like to read history books.  Every month the book group reads different books.  You can choose to participate in all group reads or just in the ones that are reading books you are interested in.

Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch

The best part is the free books.  Ever once and a while the group leader will receive free books from publishers.  Around 30 copies are usually sent to him.  He then ask who would be willing to read the book and participate in the group discussion online.  If you agree you are put in the running to receive the book.  No shipping fees, nothing.  Just a free book with the understanding that you will participate in the discussion once it begins.  I did this already once for Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch. It was a great read and the discussion was wonderful.

Enemies: A History of the FBI

If this sounds like something you would like to do head on over to Goodreads History Book Club.  Joining Goodreads is free and joining the history book club is free.  Right now the free book that we are all reading is Enemies: A History of the FBI. It is not too late to join in the discussion on this book if you want to pick up the book yourself and join in the conversation. Everyone is welcome.

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman

On July 9, we start reading Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman. You still have plenty of time to pick this one up. There are also other book readings going on in this group at the same time. So, have a look around and see if there is anything you are interested in. The Catherine read has already maxed out on the free books available, but join the group now so you don’t miss out on the next free book group read.

If you start reading the FBI or Catherine book as part of the online group read, please let me know on the goodreads discussion boards.  I’d like to know if some history podcast listeners are out there.  I will be reading the books right along with you.

11 May

Producing a Podcast


Materials for the podcast

For a long time I have wanted to write a post about what I do to produce a podcast.  For episode 119 The Thirty Years War I first did a lot of research.  I read about the war on wikipedia, then I searched the Internet for other sources.  I found Hank’s History Hour episode on the religious wars, and I found Nathan Barber’s website.  I listened to what Mr. Barber had on his website and I read the materials he had there.  Then I started writing long hand, 10 pages.  I also stopped at my local library to see what they had as far as books.  I borrowed The Thirty Years War: Europe’s Tragedy and Eyewitness Accounts of the Thirty Years War 1618-48.  I took a couple of tid-bits from the latter book, but the first book is huge and I just thumbed through it.

Then it was time to start recording.  Easier said then done though.  There are a few problems to recording.  First finding the time to have a quiet house.  For those who don’t know I have a little girl that is currently 2 and a half.  If you know two and a half year-olds, then you know they are not a quiet group.  Secondly, my microphone is packed up and at my in-laws home, since we have been trying to move for a year now, with no luck.  The housing market in Southern California is less than ideal.  So I had to record on the built in microphone on my laptop.

I went back and started using Audacity to record my podcast with.  It is free and easy to use.  After recording I use another program to normalize the audio so it is not too quiet or too loud anywhere.  That software is called levelator.  Then I import back into Audacity for finishing touches, like adding the intro music.  After which I usually add the tags to the podcast using iTunes, but I think I forgot to do that this last time, so you may notice that.

Then it is already to go and I upload to Libsyn.  After they have it, it is time to update my rss feed for the podcast and post the accompanying blog article.  Thats it.  Well, thats it for the audio portion of the podcast.  For the Thirty Years War I also did a video, a PDF history guide and a timeline.  I haven’t always done all these “extras”.  I probably won’t continue to do them either.  I didn’t get any feedback on any of the extras and I received very little feedback on the actual audio podcast.

There it is.  If there are any questions just post them in the comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.  Thanks!

06 May

Bragging Rights


Big thank you to the folks at for sending some new listeners and readers our way!  History Podcast was featured on their website today.  If you are new to the site makeuseof readers just browse around and feel free to ask questions in the comments.  I’ll get back to you.  Thanks!

02 May

30 Years War Timeline


This is my first time attaching a PDF in wordpress, so lets hope it works.  This is the last bit of information on the thirty years war.  I think we have covered this topic pretty well.  I’m thinking about the next podcast already.  Hopefully, I will be able to one again soon.

Thirty Years War Timeline PDF